Laser Digital Asset Management, the crypto and blockchain venture capital arm of Nomura Bank – Japan’s largest investment bank, has launched a Bitcoin fund offering institutional investors direct exposure to the digital asset.
According to an official announcement made by the company on September 19, the fund provides a “seamless way” for institutional investors to access the digital asset class and will be the first-in-line of a wide range of “digital adoption investment solutions” that Laser Digital Asset Management plans to introduce to the market.
Nomura Bank’s Crypto VC Arm Launches Bitcoin Fund For Institutional Investors
The fund, which is called the Laser Digital Bitcoin Adoption Fund, is set to provide institutional investors with a cost-effective and secure way to get long-only exposure to the original cryptocurrency.
The fund’s assets in Bitcoin will be under the custody of Koimanu, a crypto custody firm started under a joint initiative by Nomura, Ledger, and Coinshares.
The fund is a segregated portfolio that is part of Laser Digital Funds SPC, a Segregated Portfolio Company registered as a mutual fund pursuant in accordance with the Cayman Islands Regulatory Authority (CIMA).
Laser Digital Assets chief Sebastian Guglietta praised Bitcoin for becoming a key piece of financial technology that is enabling the digital transformation of the global economy. He also noted that long-term exposure to BTC offers investors a solution to capture “this macro trend”.
At the same time, Fiona King, the company’s distribution and marketing lead, said the Bitcoin Adoption Fund paves the way for corporate clients to safely invest in digital assets through a company that is well-established and has some of the highest risk management and compliance structures in the industry.
Bitcoin Investment Fund Is Not Nomura’s First Foray Into Crypto
The Bitcoin Adoption Fund may be the first product released by Nomura under the stewardship of its digital asset arm, but the investment banking giant with assets worth $500 billion under management has been involved with the industry for quite some time.
JUST IN: 🇯🇵 Japan's largest investment bank Nomura launches #Bitcoin fund for institutional investors.— Watcher.Guru (@WatcherGuru) September 19, 2023
Nomura established Laser Digital in September 2022 as a venture capital firm aimed at investing in crypto and blockchain-focused companies. Switzerland was chosen as the location for the company’s headquarters due to its crypto and blockchain-friendly regulatory regime.
In August, Laser Digital Middle East FZE, the Dubai-based subsidiary of Nomura Bank’s crypto arm, obtained an operating license from the UAE Emirate’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA), allowing it to offer digital asset trading, asset management, and investment services.
The company said it will be releasing a wide range of crypto products to serve the investment demands of the UAE’s retail and institutional investors.
Global Regulators Are Preparing For Bitcoin-Based Investment Products
The long-only Bitcoin-based product is entering the Japanese market at a time when global financial authorities are holding discussions on how to better regulate crypto investment products offered by mainstream financial institutions.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., Wall Street megacorporations like BlackRock and Fidelity are in the race to become the first company to list a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) for the spot market. However, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which has to approve seven Bitcoin ETF applications, delayed its decision after stating that it has to re-review regulations for the asset class as it is prone to market manipulation and fraud.
But there is still hope on the horizon as the SEC had previously approved two Bitcoin-based futures contracts for trade in U.S. stock markets. Apart from Japan and the U.S., Canada and the European Union are some other regions that have approved Bitcoin-focused investment products over the years.
Last month, London-based investment giant Jacobi Asset Management launched Europe’s first event spot Bitcoin ETF, called the Jacobi FT Wishire Bitcoin ETF, on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange.
Bitcoin (BTC) is currently trading at $26,729 – down 1.5% from its price from the previous day.